DOB: 10 October 1940
Number: 29 1959-1968
Premiership Player - 1959, 1960, 1964
Captain - 1965-1969
Team of the Century member
Best First Year Player - 1959
150 Heroes selection
Life Member - 1968
MFC Hall of Fame - 2001
Best and Fairest - 1962, 1963, 1967
Victorian state representative - 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968 (8 games)
All-Australian - 1966, 1968
First spotted by Jim Cardwell while on another scouting mission, Harold "Hassa" Mann transferred to Rutherglen for work and starred for his new home town in the Ovens and Murray League. In 1958 he won their Best and Fairest award and several league clubs chased Mann for his signature. In the end it was a specially made pair of football boots for Mann's wide feet that sealed the deal and saw the Demons earn the signature of both Hassa and his cousin Len.
Poor performances in the practice matches started to make Mann think about offers he'd received from Geelong and Richmond, but he excelled in his last practice match and after just a handful of reserves games graduated to the seniors. At first he played on a half forward flank, but took over the centre post when Mithen was moved to ruck-roving. Mann won the Best First Year Player award at 18 years of age. He capped off a dream year by kicking the sealer in the Grand Final, having been moved back to the half-forward flank.
In 1964 Mann started as a rover because of the side's deficiency around the packs, and ended the year with another flag. He had been key to getting the Demons to top spot in the first place by kicking the winning goal in the round 17 match against Hawthorn.
In 1965 he was made captain, the youngest in the league by eight months - but the second half of the year was turbulent for the Demons, with the sacking of Norm Smith and the second half collapse which saw them miss the finals. He had already missed three weeks in the middle of the year after suffering an injury in a state game.
The next year he won All-Australian honours, and in 1967 picked up his third Best and Fairest in a year that he was continually spoken of as a Brownlow fancy despite struggling with a knee injury during the year.
Refusing him a two year contract at the end of 1968, Melbourne nevertheless stubbornly refused to clear Mann to WA in 1969, but Mann eventually won his freedom and coached South Fremantle from last to a flag in 1970. He retired as their playing coach at the end of 1971, but remained in Perth and was a Western Australian state selector in 1975.
Returning to Melbourne in 1978 he was an assistant coach to Carl Ditterich and Chairman of Selectors. In August 1980 he announced himself as a candidate for the Melbourne job, but after Ron Barassi was appointed he went to VFA side Caulfield for 1981. Mann later had spells at Eltham in 1982 and 1983 where he won a premiership and Templestowe in 1984 before returning to Melbourne as Under 19s coach, where he served until mid-1987.
Joining the board as a director in 1991, Mann served as CEO from July 1992 to May 1997. Joseph Gutnick had already tried to replace him with Cameron Schwab when he became President, but Mann survived, finally resigning before being pushed after Gutnick flagged major changes during a radio interview at the Round 6 loss against the Saints. He later served as the CEO of the Victoria Titans NBL team.
Mann was universally known as "Hassa", a nickname bestowed on him by Len as a child because he couldn't pronounce Harold.
Some sources say Mann was called up for National Service at the end of 1964 and the Demons were forced to appeal to the army to have him cleared. His year of birth does not correspond with the 1965 draw. His date of birth was called up in September 1965 but he was too old to be included.
100 Plus Consecutive Games